The Inn Collection Group founder Keith Liddle has stepped down from his role as executive deputy chairman to enter planned retirement.

Since opening the group’s first Northumberland site, The Lindisfarne Inn, in 2006, Liddell has played a pivotal role in the company’s rapid expansion outside the north east and into Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire and County Durham.

Late last year, the group launched a third Yorkshire site in Whitby and made its Lancashire debut in St Annes. It has since announced that a further 40-room inn is under constriction on Sunderland’s seafront in Seaburn as part of plans to reach 22 sites by 31 March 2021.

“I have been very proud to be part of The Inn Collection Group’s journey, through the good times as well as the current challenging situation we have all experienced and continue to do so right now,” said Liddle.

“The Inn Collection Group has achieved countless accolades and successes over the years and its ability for continual evolution in its people and estate is down to the unique team behind it. I know I am stepping down safe in the knowledge that the company is in the best possible hands.”

Managing director Sean Donkin added: “Keith has taught us how to work hard whilst having fun and experiencing the most amazing opportunities. The lessons and memories he has created will be here for many years to come.

“We wish Keith well in his retirement and hope as he reflects on all the years of work and dedication invested into the group and all of us here, he can take pride in knowing he has created a great team with strong values which his trademark kindness runs through.”